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By Eleonora Gullone (auth.)

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Additional resources for Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour, and Aggression: More than a Link

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Moreover, frequent engagement in aggressive acts promotes automatic and non-conscious processing such that instrumental consideration of potential consequences can occur without awareness (Bargh & Pietromonaco, 1982; Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977). On balance, given the inherent difficulties involved in sub-typing aggression, Anderson and Huesmann (2003) have concluded that it is more useful to characterize aggressive behaviour as varying along identified dimensions. Such a strategy acknowledges the multidimensional nature of aggressive behaviours.

Another noteworthy finding was that the inmates who reported engaging in multiple acts of animal cruelty were around three times more likely to be motivated by a desire to control the animals when compared to those who engaged in fewer acts. It is noteworthy that although Kellert and Felthous proposed a nine-motivation typology, their data highlighted that the animal cruelty was multidimensional, and one motivation alone was rarely reported by the participants in the study. Hensley and Tallichet (2005) also found that the same act of animal cruelty may have multiple motivations.

Research has also revealed that aggressive behaviours mostly occur within the context of other antisocial behaviours. Furthermore, individuals who have committed a variety of antisocial acts, and who are frequent offenders throughout their childhood and adolescent years, are more likely to progress to more serious violent acts. The final part of this chapter reviews conceptualizations of the antisocial behaviour and aggression constructs. Aggression is best understood as being one behaviour that is subsumed within the heterogeneous antisocial construct most simply defined by Dodge and colleagues (2006) as “acts intended to harm others” (p.

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